The National Motor Neurone Disease Clinic at Beaumont Hospital
The MND clinic is led by Prof. Orla Hardiman who started the clinic at Beaumont Hospital in 1994. The clinic began in collaboration with the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, and was originally staffed by Prof. Hardiman and Bernie Corr, Clinical Nurse Specialist in MND.
Since then, the clinic has developed and is now recognized by the HSE as the National Centre for ALS /MND and specific resources and funding have been put in place. We now have specialists in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Nutrition and Dietetics, Psychology and Social Work. We have grown from having one to four nurses and have the support an additional Consultant Neurologist Dr. Margaret O’Brien and MND registrar fellows Dr. Amina Coffey, Dr. Sinead Maguire, Dr. Rob McFarlane and Dr. Sarah Darcy.
In addition to the core team we have established access pathways where needed to specialists in Respiratory Medicine, Interventional Radiology, Psychiatry, Orthopaedics and Palliative Care services.
People with MND attending the clinic also have the opportunity to participate in research and clinical trials.
The clinic takes place on the second, third, fourth and fifth Thursdays of the month, starting at 11.30am and running until around 8.00pm. We receive referrals from all over the country, and pride ourselves on having a waiting list of less than 3 weeks.
All new patients are seen by either Prof Hardiman or another Consultant Neurologist and a specialist nurse. People who are known to the service are seen by the MND registrars and a specialist nurse and Prof. Hardiman is consulted as required. We do not have junior medical staff in attendance at the clinic.
Referrals to members of the wider team of health and social care professionals are made by the doctor following consultation. A clinic visit can include multiple consultations with the professionals whose input is required on that occasion. We aim for a one-stop-shop, avoiding multiple trips to the hospital to see different members of the team. This does result in a longer visit and so it is advisable to leave plenty of time and to bring snacks, a companion and something to pass the time.
The ethos of the clinic is that while MND is a tragic and life-threatening condition, we must recognize that life is to be enjoyed, and quality of life preserved, regardless of the disability. We believe that a visit to the MND clinic should be a positive experience, and our aim is to ensure that everybody who attends leaves the clinic feeling better than when they came in. We value personal interaction, friendship, flexibility and humour. All members of the team are carefully chosen experienced health professionals with a special interest in MND, a warm and empathic personality, and an understanding of the importance of maintaining the ethos we foster.
Anybody with MND is welcome to attend the clinic, once we receive a referral from a general practitioner. We are delighted to see people for a second opinion if the person with MND, their consultant and / or their general practitioner requests this. And as we appreciate that travel to the clinic can be arduous for those living outside of Dublin, we frequently co-manage people with their local neurologists. Home visits by our specialist nurses are essential to coordinate and manage care. Members of the team also provide telemedicine consultations, where travel to the clinic is not practical and we explore new innovations in care delivery on an ongoing basis.
The Specific Roles of the members of the multidisciplinary team are described in the following sections.
Prof. Orla Hardiman
Charity Number: CHY 17822
Registered Charity Number: 20067076
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